Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Lebanese employers, placement agencies, and the Lebanese authorities should improve the treatment of domestic workers by ensuring fair contracts, timely payment of wages, and a weekly day’s leave, Human Rights Watch said today, on the eve of Labor Day. Human Rights Watch is launching a campaign to highlight the often invisible abuses that many women who are domestic workers suffer in Lebanon. An estimated 200,000 domestic workers, primarily from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Ethiopia, play an essential role in a large number of Lebanese households, yet remain unprotected by labor laws and are subject to exploitation and frequent abuse by employers and agencies. “This Labor Day reminds us of the important contributions these women make to this country,” said Nadim Houry, researcher at Human Rights Watch. “They not only pick up the slack in many households in Lebanon, but also help support their own families left behind. While some employers treat domestic workers with respect, many fail to provide minimum standards of decent working conditions, such as adequate food, living accommodations, and regular payment.”" (thanks Nadim)